Do you know the difficulties coffee farmers go through to bring that cup of coffee to your table? Farmers as the unsung heroes in the fight against COVID 19
The COVID pandemic has no doubt taken the world by a storm with millions of doctors and health practitioners on the frontline fighting to save lives, Govt. world-wide coming up with measures to look after the population welfare, businesses struggling to save their economies, employee and workers worried about job losses and family supports, and consumers struggling to get their daily food and medical supplies. Amid all this crisis let us not forget our farmers, the unsung heroes, who face and live through various calamities every single day of their life to ensure the population across the globe is supplied with sufficient food resources.
In the video Fairtrade coffee farmers from Koperasi Serba Usaha (KSU) Sara Ate; FLO ID 27392, grapple with the sudden change in weather as they hurry to save their harvest laid down for sun drying. Their first instinct is to save the harvest without paying any heed to the freezing weather, getting drenched or fear of falling sick. The majority of Fairtrade producers in Asia and the Pacific are in Indonesia, a country that is subjected to erratic weather patterns caused by climate change. The video shows only a glimpse of the multiple hardships they encounter daily and the COVID19 pandemic is yet another challenge added to their long list of the ongoing battle against the decrease in productivity and quality due to rising threat of disease, weather shocks resulting from climate change, price fluctuations, to name a few. Though coffee is the most traded commodity in the world, millions of farmers still struggle to earn a decent living income resulting in abandonment of the profession by younger generations in search of better-paid work elsewhere.
It is estimated that by 2100, more than 50 percent of the land used to grow coffee will no longer be cultivable. Can we envision our morning without a hot cup of our favorite beverage to start our day with? It is time for consumers and businesses to start investing in and adopting a sustainable value chain. The everyday lesson we continue to receive and learn during the current crisis makes sustainability all the more important.
If the farmers continue to remain vulnerable it is likely to have an impact on food production leading to another pandemic that is, global hunger. The world is already struggling to have a decent health and medical system in place due to the shortage of proper medical supplies and equipment. We certainly are not prepared to face a global shortage of food production and supply which can have ten times the negative effect of any pandemic. Unlike basic non-agricultural materials that can be manufactured in a short period, food security is not something that can be achieved in a matter of a few days. Agriculture takes years of toiling, sweat, and labor, farmers work from dawn to dusk every day to put food on our table, despite their endless challenges.
We request our businesses and consumers across the globe to continue supporting our farmers and producers. They remain as front liners alongside doctors and paramedics in the fight against COVID19. They need our help more than ever!